Ten years of ‘Betterment’ brings best value for Queensland infrastructure
Published Friday, 10 March, 2023 at 01:30 PM
Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympic and Paralympic Games Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles
- Australia’s first Betterment Fund was established in 2013 by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority following Severe Tropical Cyclone (STC) Oswald.
- Since 2013, more than 520 projects valued at over $263 million across 70 local government areas have been approved.
- As of July 2022, 375 of these projects have been subsequently impacted by disasters. In total, there have been 1,016 impacts to Betterment sites from 40 events, with 81 per cent suffering no damage or only minor or superficial damage.
- Of the Betterment projects that have been re-impacted, an investment of $137 million has generated more than $391 million in savings or avoided costs.
- Queensland’s Betterment program is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Queensland – with the support of the Commonwealth Government – has shown how rebuilding impacted assets to a more resilient standard saves the public money and minimises the impacts of future disasters.
The Queensland Betterment Fund supports local governments and state agencies to rebuild essential public assets to a more resilient standard so they can better withstand the force of Mother Nature.
Works vary widely across vital infrastructure and can include the stabilisation or resurfacing of roads, bridge upgrades or construction, and the expansion of floodways or other drainage solutions.
With the number of disasters experienced in Queensland each year predicted to rise, the focus of Betterment is on creating stronger, more resilient Queensland communities, and reducing future rebuilding costs.
The Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) is the state’s lead agency responsible for disaster recovery and resilience policy.
Since its inception following the 2010-11 disaster season, QRA has helped the state respond to more than 100 disaster events.
From these experiences and the lessons learned, QRA has developed nation-leading disaster reconstruction initiatives like the Betterment Fund to make Queensland the most disaster resilient state in Australia.
QRA is currently managing an active delivery program estimated at $6 billion, comprising works from 31 events across the 2019-20 to 2022-23 disaster seasons.
Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Minister Watt:
“Throughout the last decade, Queenslanders have faced disproportionately more floods, fire, cyclones and drought than any other state, and in many instances these occurred concurrently or in quick succession.
“We understand it has been a challenge, as communities, local and state governments are tested time and time again.
“Their unified efforts to create positive outcomes for those who have faced the worst are commendable, and the Albanese Government is proud to support those efforts, through our joint funding.
“One aspect of reducing the impact of future disasters is to build back better, not just restore, damaged infrastructure. Another is to invest in disaster risk reduction projects through the Albanese Government’s Disaster Ready Fund.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland Deputy Premier and minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, Steven Miles:
“Since 2013 then more than 520 projects valued at over $263 million across 70 Queensland local government areas have been approved with Betterment funds.
“In addition to 2013, damaged infrastructure has been built back better in 2015 following STC Marcia, 2017 following STC Debbie, and 2019 in response to the North Queensland Floods.
“Most recently, $170 million in Betterment funding has been made available to build back essential public infrastructure damaged during the 2021-22 disaster season.
“Betterment helps local councils build back better following a disaster, reducing future impacts on Queensland communities and minimising recovery bills when the next disaster strikes.
“A great example of this is the iconic Scenic Highway in Yeppoon, which together with neighbouring Statue Bay suffered major landslips and erosion during STC Marcia, essentially cutting off direct tourism access to the Keppel Islands.
“The complex Betterment project that followed balanced engineering needs with coastal and marine conservation, and by mid-2018 a fantastic new stretch of road was reopened to the public, again proving a drawcard for the region.
“Betterment showcases the strength and results that come from all levels of government working together to improve the resilience of Queensland communities.”
For more information visit www.qra.qld.gov.au/betterment
- Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
- Deputy Premier: Amy Hunter 0423 651 484